The last two months in rustsim #1 (September-October 2018)

Welcome to the very first edition of This month in rustsim. This monthly newsletter will provide you with a summary of important update that occurred within the rustsim community. This includes in particular updates about the nphysics, ncollide, nalgebra, and alga crate. This first posts will actually contain updates for the past two months, that is, since the creation of the rustsim github organization itself!

Join us on discord! Join us on our user forum!

New communication channels

First and foremost new communication channel have been created:

  • A new website for the rustsim organization where those newsletters will be hosted:
  • A new twitter account for the rustsim organization. You may follow this account to get more frequent update (that is whenever something cool happens on either projects during the month):
  • Join us on our new Discord server where you can ask for help, provide feedbacks, and discuss the development of any project part of the rustsim organization:

Of course, you can still ask for help and provide feedbacks on the user forum:

Progress of current developments

Physics simulation of deformable bodies

Significant work is being done to add support for deformable bodies to nphysics. Current developments are happening on the deformable branch. You can already see a few proofs of concept in the following videos:

  1. A video for the simulation of a deformable beam based on a Finite Element Method (FEM).
  2. A video for the simulation of a deformable triangle mesh based on a mass-spring model.

To achieve this, features are being added to crates other than **nphysics** too:
  • ncollide is being improved to support deformable triangle meshes, that is, triangles meshes that can be modified efficiently after their creation and addition to the world. This work is being done on the deformable branch.
  • nalgebra is being improved to have a first limited support of sparse matrices. Right now, we are working on supporting column-compressed matrices with multiplication, transposition, resolution of triangular systems, and Cholesky decomposition. This is motivated by the fact that a sparse Cholesky decomposition is needed by the FEM-based deformation models to be efficient. Developments on this is happening on the sparse branch.

A new crate: nalgebra-glm

We have created a new crate for linear algebra: nalgebra-glm. See its documentation there. It also has a dedicated page on the user guide.

This crate is actually built on top of nalgebra to provide an alternative API which is designed to look very much like the well-known C++ GLM library. The goal of this initiative is to provide to people that come from C++ an tool that looks like what they were already used to. Moreover, the API of nalgebra-glm can be simpler to grasp than the one from nalgebra for some users or newcomers that are more familiar with 4x4 matrices than with specific transformation types like Isometry3 or Similarity3.

A new crate: nphysics-ecs

With the transition of the amethyst game engine from cgmath to nalgebra, we have started collaborating with the amethyst community for making it simpler to integrate nphysics into an ECS-based application. This will be done within the nphysics-ecs crate (which is currently empty) with the precious help of Rhuagh and ldgoui.

You can refer to the dedicated issue. Contributions are welcome!

Documentation improvements

We are working on improving the rustdoc-generated documentation for all projects. First, we are starting with the nalgebra and nalgebra-glm crates. Our goal is to add # Example and # See also sections to all methods.

This has been started by waywardmonkeys on github, huge thanks to him) on nalgebra-glm crate; see for example the glm::lerp function there:

We have been working on doing the same on nalgebra itself. So far, we started on the addition of # Example sections to methods of geometric types. More will come in the future.


We would like to thank the whole community and contributors. In particular:

  • Thanks to waywardmonkeys for his amazing work on the nalgebra-glm doc.
  • Thanks to jnferner for landing a large refactoring on nphysics addressing some clippy warnings (see nphysics#150), and for addressing issues regarding the compatibility of nphysics with wasm-bindgen (see nphysics#139).
  • Thanks to z33ky for his work on ncollide to avoid needless complexity on the DBVTBroadPhase implementation and to improve the versatility of the BroadPhase trait. See ncollide#225 and ncollide#227.
  • Thanks to users reporting spelling mistakes on the documentation. This is always appreciated.
  • Thanks to users sharing their concerns regarding the API of some crates. We find feedbacks like this or that very valuable to improve the quality our work.

Finally, thanks to all the current and new patrons supporting this organization on patreon!